After King Abdullah: Results of Political Succession in Saudi Arabia

EPC | 28 May 2013

There is a wide spread belief that the al Saud regime, which was surprised that the turmoil of the Arab Spring is surrounding it, is facing a decisive moment in its history. Al Saud are on the verge of transferring the crown to the grandchildren of King Abdel Aziz after 6 decades of rotating power among the sons of the founder of the third Saudi state. It is likely that the approach which al Saud adopted in dealing with this compound problem, i.e. the Arab Spring challenges and securing the succession process, will have a deep impact on both the royal regime and the Saudi state in the coming years. The Saudi royal family is closer to success in overcoming the challenge of transferring power between two ruling generations with a minimum level of struggle and division. Historical experience has proved that while the possibility of competition for the Saudi crown will remain and the possibility of division seem higher at the time of transferring power from one king to another, still the royal family has proved each time, that it is more keen on its solidarity and unity, especially at such times of contradictions. The self-protection interests, protection of existence and royal privileges and the logic of internal solidarity play an important role in helping the Saudi royal family reach this state of relative stability, even at times of crisis.

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